10th Anniversary of Creation’s closure

Doesn’t time fly fast? It is 10 years ago today since Alan McGee announced the closure of the label. Here’s the Guardian’s news story from 10 years ago:

Alan McGee, the chairman of Creation Records who propelled Oasis to superstar status gaining the ear of the prime minister along the way, yesterday announced that he would be leaving the label he founded next year to pursue other projects.

The announcement led to immediate speculation that Oasis would leave the label to establish their own company, and that Creation’s future would be threatened.

Sony paid £3.5m for a minority share in the label in 1992 and McGee is due to renegotiate the deal next summer.

But a spokesman for Oasis described the rumours as “complete rubbish”, while Creation said: “Oasis are contracted to Sony and licensed to Creation Records for the UK and until we hear otherwise – it’s business as usual.”

However, 39-year-old McGee predicted that the role of record labels would be fundamentally changed by new technology and that he was resigned to losing Oasis after their present deal expired. He said he hoped to establish a film production company next year financing 10 films for £100,000 each, as well as investing in an internet start-up.

Earlier this year, McGee offered to buy ailing London music radio station GLR after it emerged the BBC were considering turning it into a speech-based station. BBC chairman Christopher Bland is rumoured to have invited him in for talks, though a sale is thought unlikely.

Creation’s success was founded on McGee’s talent for discovering bands such as the Jesus and Mary Chain, Primal Scream, Super Furry Animals and Oasis. The label was founded 17 years ago with McGee and his partner Dick Green, who will also be leaving, to promote unknown bands.

By the late 90s, McGee’s reputation as an opinion former led New Labour to court his approval, which he readily gave along with a donation of £50,000. Riding the wave of Cool Britannia that accompa nied Labour’s election win in 1997, McGee was invited to Downing Street with his star turns, moving the Daily Mail to condemn Mr Blair for mixing with a confessed drug-user. In 1994 he was admitted to a Los Angeles detox clinic.

Since those heady days, however, McGee has relinquished drugs and the Blair project, describing the latter as “Orwellian”, blighted by cronyism, and claiming the New Deal initiative stifles creativity.

Serious doubts must now surround the long-term future of the label, founded with a £1,000 bank loan in 1983.

McGee has always been a hands-on chairman at a company that has managed to retain an independent spirit. But without McGee as a buffer between the bands and Sony, Oasis may take matters into their own hands. Other groups on the roster, some of whom have resented the time and effort which has been lavished on the Gallagher brothers, may also be minded to look elsewhere.

McGee was also interviewed by The Guardian at the time of the announcement and you can read the interview by clicking here.